Quickhit: “defining moments of the noughties”?

This Top 100 is a British list, and it’s from the UK Daily Telegraph (“that fascist rag” is always appended to any mention of it by my Welsh DB), but it’s still an interesting idea. What do you agree with, what would you change for your own region?

Categories: history, media, Sociology

8 replies

  1. Well, first of all, I’d add Obama’s election and/or inauguration. How the release of his memoir, and the release of Yes We Can, make the list and neither of those do just boggles my mind. The start of the Iraq war. Though I’m certainly biased in this regard, the start of LOST. And while I’m probably even more biased in this regard, I can’t even begin to fathom how some of the others deaths made it on the list while George Harrison’s 2001 passing did not. And though it’s silly, maybe the invention of lolcats? That’s just off the top of my head.

  2. It’s in general much more cultural than the way I’d think of the noughties. There are a few things I’d leave in though: I’d take out the debut of ‘The Office’ but the advent of ‘Big Brother’ does seem to have international significance; the creation of YouTube, something to do with the end of consumer film photography (they use Polaroid as a marker for this, which is a nice story but 2008 seems late to me, I’d probably use Nikon announcing that they were dropping much of their film line).
    My list is highly highly Western technocrat:
    Early 2000 (much of developed world): the Y2K fizz.
    2000, Sydney at least: the massive and sudden realisation from the columnists that rather than dreading the Olympics the city was quite looking forward to it.
    2001, Australia: the Tampa affair, setting the tone and reference point to this day for asylum seeker politics and discourse in Australia.
    2003: Invasion of Iraq begins. I don’t know that I’d remember March 2003 as the month that Michael Moore hijacked the Oscars!
    2003/2004 onwards: the popular advent of Wikipedia. Long term contributers to Wikipedia remember 2004-ish as the year they stopped getting excited to be on the first page of Google results for search terms.
    December 2004: the impact of the December 26 tsunami on Indonesia and Thailand (the impact on these two countries got the most coverage in Australia, and purely personally I’d been on the south west coast of Thailand in November that year).
    2005: Obviously the English are more blasé about the attacks on the London underground than I am, they don’t list it, but the morning after that I remember nearly as well as the morning of September 12 2001. (For Americans reading, the World Trade Center attacks started making the news here around midnight Sydney time, so a lot of Australians remember it as a very late night or very early morning event.) The train attacks in Madrid not so much, partly because I’ve been to London and not to Madrid, partly because of the news coverage.
    March 2007, rather specific to computing commentary/blogging circles: the public fallout of the harassment of Kathy Sierra was a big deal for the ongoing discussion about women in computing (which only passes “women should be in computing” about one time in two).
    Probably for Australia the last Federal election campaign (2007) stands out with the fall from grace of John Howard, who quite a few commentators regarded as totally unmovable in the same way as the Republican dominance of the US was seen. But I was out of the country for most of the campaign and for election night. The political career of Thaksin Shinawatra is something of a stand-out of this period for me instead.

  3. Actually, I was just discussing with my partner whether, in fact, the end of consumer film photography will be a big deal to anyone who wasn’t actually there. (It’s a big deal to me, because I remember having rolls of film sitting around for years waiting for me to have enough pocket money to develop and print them.) And film in and of itself probably won’t be. Listen up kids, we used to take snapshots with more chemicals! It’s the fact that once you sink the cost of the device itself that publication is really cheap that matters. The stuff about constant professional and amateur public surveillance, blogging, photoblogging and so on seems almost too obvious to point out, but that together with filesharing and the ongoing challenges to the assumptions behind copyright law is basically the technocrat’s noughties for you.
    My partner also notes that both digital cameras and MP3 players mark them end of DIY projects in those areas in some sense: you can’t build either for yourself without a microchip, the manufacture of which is impossible and programming of which difficult without the resources of a major corporation.

  4. Well Cara, you know, *I’d* have thought Obama’s election/inauguration would have made it but I guess it got bumped off the list by Kylie Minogues backside?

  5. I hit a wrong key – very much as “proof” of my tech and cultural “out of the loop(s)” due to CFS/ME. I had started with (before I “disappeared” the comment), “Thank you, Mary for the comment on camera and film.”. My spouse has been buying film for my used Elph cameras and I,too have undeveloped rolls of film. I got a new digital version of the small camera, but can’t figure out how to use it beyond “point and hit the button” although I can zoom, nor get it onto my used laptop. Photography, a hobby that I was enticed into by my spouse (his hobby) was made possible for me by autofocus (film camera does the work) – although the machine and I differ on “center” and light weight. On my infrequent outings, I carry a camera. I use the photos in my own art:collages, multiples via photocopying, including political art.
    How “out of the loop” am I? I thought noughties meant naughties. Yup. I’ve turned into my mother who was Ms. Malaprop first.
    I liked “Borat” (and I’m an atheist Jew who grew up Orthodox Jewish in Brooklyn, NYC). I haven’t been to the movie theater since about 1982 and it was a homeless pal who showed me his most precious possession: a small game player that you can put little disc movies into who got me back to film/movies in the 2 years I was totally homebound (ending last mid-April). So, I guess I’d add the little game player as tech stuff (no I don’t play games: for me, games meant the old pinball machines with flippers and noise and bells and lights. I was good at pinball machines, sigh.). I still don’t understand what an mp3 p layer is. I’m still at
    audiocassettes and never bought a CD player (beyond the drawer in the laptop, which spouse broke on day 3 – now held closed by surgical tape. How marvelous is a tech company customer service, who I won’t name, who said “You can buy a new CD drawer or just hold it closed with tape.”.
    My first movie was “DaVinci Code” and that was lucky because most of the films available on the little discs are for 18year old boy audiences: action, violence (I fast forward). And none are being made now. I thought the “DaVinci Code” (content aside) was a perfect movie visually.
    I have to revisit this topic. But I wanted to “weigh in”. I love the English tabloids when I want to read some “junk” online. Found a list shortly after I got online 2 years ago this month. I don’t “do” tv at all (partly due to tv makes me feel ill, as do cell phones). But I do have one season of “Dr. Who” on discs (2005?) and like it a lot. “Little Britain” was awful…have that,too. Never was a tv fan after age 15 or so.

  6. Would have to include the Cronulla Riots, the NT Intervention, the formal apology to the Stolen Generation (as well as the forthcoming apology to the Forgotten Australians), plus Australia finally signing on the the UN Convention on the Rights of Indigenous People… Possibly the arrest of Roman Polanski? Deaths: Steve Irwin & MJ.

  7. Correction: “that fascist rag” is the Daily Mail, not the Torygraph.

  8. Heh – he uses it for both!

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